Preds do the unthinkable: trade Martin Erat…

Martin Erat (Sarah Fuqua)

The Nashville Predators have done the unthinkable. They have traded veteran winger and alternate captain Martin Erat.

According to Josh Cooper of The Tennessean, in a report that came nearly two hours after the trade deadline expired, 2011 first round pick Filip Forbserg is coming the other way.

Forsberg (no relation to Peter Forbserg) is a tremendous prospect and Nashville should be thrilled to have him in the system.

Milwaukee Admirals forward Michael Latta is also headed to Washington in the deal.

The two-time Czech Olympian has been a mainstay with the Predators organization since he was drafted in the seventh round of the 1999 NHL Draft. He is second all-time in most major offensive categories for the Predators, including goals (163), assists (318) and points (481). He’s also second on the club’s all-time list in games played with 723.

David Legwand is the only player to have worn a Preds sweater longer.

Erat, 31, struggled mightily early in the year but has found his stride recently. With 21 points, including eight in his past seven games,  he is tied with Legwand as Nashville’s leading scorer.

A consistent 50-point producer in a full season, Erat will now move onto the Washington Capitals after apparently waiving his NMC (no-move clause). Despite his $4.5 million cap hit, he’s set to make $3.75m next season and the $2.25m in 2014-15.

Erat’s departure leaves the Predators with three players who have won the Canadian Hockey League’s prestigious Memorial Cup (Shea Weber, Jon Blum and Ryan Ellis.)

The official press release is below.

***

Nashville, Tenn. (April 4, 2013) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired forward Filip Forsberg from the Washington Capitals in exchange for forwards Martin Erat and Michael Latta. Forsberg has already been signed to a three-year entry level contract and is eligible to play in North America immediately.

“With one of the best goaltenders in the world in Pekka Rinne, and the top defenseman in the game today in Shea Weber, along with Roman Josi, Kevin Klein and other young defensemen we continue to develop, we believe we are well positioned at these two positions, but have lacked a dynamic offensive forward.” Poile said. “In Filip Forsberg, we are adding one of the top rated young forwards in the world; we are excited to have him join our other emerging young talent and solid veterans at the position.”

“We have used draft picks in recent years to add players at the trade deadline. Over the last several years, we traded away four first round picks. It was imperative that we add a potentially dynamic offensive forward such as Forsberg. Our goal remains the same—to win the Stanley Cup. We believe our current team is a playoff caliber team. At the same time, we have to be mindful of the long-term and this deal allows us to acquire a top-end young offensive forward that will help us.”

Forsberg, 18 (8/14/94), posted 33 points (15g-18a) in 38 games for Leksand of Sweden’s second league in 2012-13, pacing all junior skaters and finishing second in points to only Predators 2012 second-round pick Pontus Aberg. The 6-1, 188-pound center was the recipient of the 2013 Golden Cage Award as the league’s top junior player.

Washington’s first pick, 11th overall, in the 2012 Entry Draft was recently rated the 21st rated NHL-affiliate prospect by The Hockey News. The Östervåla, Sweden native helped Sweden win gold at the 2012 World Junior Championships, then captained the Tre Kronor to a silver medal at the 2013 World Juniors, being named the tournament’s All-Star Team in the process.

Erat departs Nashville ranked second all-time on Nashville’s games played (723), goals (163), assists (318) and points (481) lists. Having helped the Predators advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs seven of the last eight seasons, the Trebic, Czech Republic native is also tied for the franchise lead in playoff assists (15), and ranks second in postseason games played (46) and points (23).

“It is always difficult to trade a player who was drafted, developed and who has produced for the franchise for many years such as Martin Erat, however, Marty came to us in recent days and indicated a trade might be in his best interests. Thus, the process began and we were able to explore options with our primary goal being to acquire a young top end forward that would address our most critical need. We thank Martin for all his contributions to the Predators’ success over the years and wish him and his family the best in Washington.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Fuqua (used with permission)

3 Comments

  1. Phillip (@sailorsneedlove)

    April 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I’M IN SHOCK.

  2. Jon

    April 3, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    It’s less unthinkable when you hear that he asked for a change of scenery. We got a good prospect in return but Erat will be missed. And with our track record of drafting nothing but bums for goal-scorers Erat will be near the top of our stats list for generations.

  3. Pingback: Filip Forsberg is Nashville-bound, could play Monday… | Section 303